Mocs Fall to Lynn in Overtime

Mocs Fall to Lynn in Overtime

LAKELAND, FL - Jonathan Lawton scored 39 points, but Florida Southern College men's basketball could not come up with the go-ahead bucket in a 92-90 overtime loss to Lynn on Saturday in Sunshine State Conference action at Jenkins Field House. The Mocs (9-6, 3-4 SSC) overcame a five-point first-half deficit to grab a late two-point lead in regulation, but the Knights (6-7, 3-4) hit a pair of free throws late in the second half and hit a game-winning three-pointer with 10 seconds left in overtime to come away with the win.

Lawton's 39 points were the most for a Moccasin since Kevin Capers poured in 46 in an NCAA Tournament game against Tuskegee on March 15, 2014. However, two three-pointers in the final 47 seconds of overtime proved to be the difference as the Knights snuck past with the win.

The Moccasins looked as if they might be on their way to their third-straight win as they raced out to a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes of action, but Lynn rebounded from the early deficit to take a 19-18 lead with 10:39 to go in the first quarter.
Both teams would trade the lead several times over the next few minutes before the Mocs reeled off an 8-0 run to jump in front (28-21) with 7:30 on the clock. The Knights rallied with a scoring run of their own, outscoring the Mocs 11-2 over the next two and a half minutes to go back up by two (32-30). The teams again traded jabs as the lead changed hands twice over the next few minutes. With 2:07 to go in the first half, Trey Diggs hit a pair of free throws to draw the Moccasins within two (39-37), but Lynn kept Florida Southern off the board for the remainder of the half to take a 42-37 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, the Knights were able to build a 62-54 lead with 13:30 to play. But the Moccasins rallied back by mounting a 15-6 run over the next five minutes to jump in front at one point (69-68) when Jack Rauch hit a layup with 8:33 to go. 
Lawton would put the Mocs up by six (82-76) with 3:17 on the clock, but Lynn scored six-straight points to tie things up an send the game to overtime after connecting on two free throws with 17 seconds to go in regulation.
The Moccasins scored the first four points of overtime to take an 86-82 lead and were ahead by three (89-86) when Lawton hit a pair of free throws with 1:27 on the clock. After Lawton connected on another free throw with under a minute to go to make it 90-86, the Knights connected on a three-pointer on the next possession to pull within one and took the lead on another shot from long range with 10 seconds left. Lawton's last-second three missed the mark as the Mocs dropped their second overtime contest of the season.
Lawton did most of his damage at the charity stripe, connecting on 19-of-24 free-throw attempts. He also came away with nine rebounds and three assists. Rach finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Brett Hanson scored 13 points and snagged 11 boards. Slinky Jones scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds, and had four blocks.

Florida Southern dropped to 37-13 all-time against Lynn, including an 18-7 mark at home. Lawton's 24 free-throw attempts are three shy of the school record of 27, set by John Ebeling on Dec. 8, 1981, against Otterbein. The 19 made free throws are also three shy of the school record of 22, share by Ebeling and Don Tobin.
Lawton has scored in double figures 14 times this season and has poured in 20 or more in 10 different contests. Hanson notched his fifth double-double of the season, while Jones blocked at least four shots for the third time this year.
The Moccasins outscored the Knights 34-26 in the paint and 23-12 off turnovers. Lynn's bench helped the Knights pick up the win by outscoring Florida Southern's bench by a 27-8 score.

Florida Southern heads to No. 7 Barry on Wednesday before hosting Rollins on Jan. 13 at home.